What links the 1718 patchwork Silk Coverelet, owned by the Quilters Guild, to events of 12th December 2019?
The answer lies in the process of investigation into the quilt’s construction. Using modern forensic techniques the Quilters Guild have uncovered ( sorry!) some of the quilt’s secrets.
Within the intricate quilted blocks lie the original papers used to piece the quilt. These ranged from scraps to pages of religious text and a political poster. The poster advertised a meeting to discuss……Scottish Independence.
Heather gave us an in depth and fascinating talk about the importance of this quilt to the history of quilt making in England. We learned of the difficulty in constructing the quilt with it’s complicated curves. The fabric and the stitching have all been analysed to a high degree. Heather’s talk also gave us an insight into early 18th century society as the Quilters Guild and their researchers worked to discover the provenance of the quilt.
A wonderful interesting journey by way of an everyday object.
Over the weekend of 12th and 13th October our guest speaker, Dawn Cameron-Dick , gave us an entertaining and educational insight into the world of wadding. We were all encouraged to ask more questions about the manufacturers of a material many may have taken for granted. Environmental issues as well as loft, bounce, durability were highlighted in a very amusing and insightful way.
Sunday 13th October and 16 ladies came to the Darby and Joan Hall sewing machines at the ready. Today we were to learn how to make a New York Beauty Block, using the technique of foundation piecing. Again a very entertaining and industrious day with everyone achieving at least two individual pieces.
Our first meeting of the new year and we were treated to a menagerie of needle felted animals created by Fi Oberon.
Fi described how she set her animals in small scenes as part of creating her book on needle felting. She then went on to explain the process of needle felting and the creating of her beautifully detailed creatures highlighting techniques, processes and materials in such a way that even beginners could ‘have a go’.
All artists find that their work leads them in many directions, Fi is passionate about her environment and so uses natural dyeing in her work.
This passion for the environment has led her into a new idea to highlight the effect of global warming ‘Data Wrapped Trees’. Creating an embroidery , of a tree with coloured bands, each band representing data on the effects Carbon Dioxide Emissions on the environment.
Fi wishes to carry this message to Downing Street, anyone interested in hearing her ideas and helping in this campaign can contact her direct.
Anne kept us all enthralled with her vivacity and enthusiasm for her textile art. She spoke of her childhood and a mother who encouraged ‘messy ‘ art. Rebelling against her father’s wish for her to become a chartered accountant Anne went on to study and eventually teach art.
The photograph above shows a sample of Anne’s catalogue and the process by which her art continues to develop. We wonder where the next step will take her.
Precious Memories Jo’s work is a reflection on memories of people we love and how we associate them with what they wear. Their patterns and colours are embedded into our memory and become inseparable from our image of them. Our patterns and colours determine not only our character and how we want to be perceived by others but also define us in a time, place and culture.
Jo’s recent work uses shadow to reflect the image of our patterns and identity and how she can enhance the idea of memory by having a shadow of the image reflected onto a plain background a distance away from the actual work. This enables the shadow to become larger and more defined.
Engagement with the deep-sea trawlermen of Hull and their fashion design process 1950s to 1970s.
The daughter of a hull trawler man, brought up in a matriarchal household of talented weavers and stitchers Claire gave us a fascinating talk about her own career and study exploring both aspects of her heritage.
The 1970s saw the demise of the deep sea trawling industry in Hull and with it a whole culture passed into history.
Clare spoke about her initial interest in weaving, her experimentation leading to innovation, working for some of the major textile companies. Her natural curiosity brought her full circle and her own father. The Hull trawlermen had a distinctive on shore style of dress. Claire spoke of the particular style of the suit having elements of a variety of influences. Her latest research is an attempt to discover the roots underlying this style. One theory is that it originated through popular Wild West cowboy outfits as depicted in films of the 1950s.
Claire showed us samples of her early design work and sketch books with ideas for adapting the decorative ‘cowboy’ jacket using fish and flower designs.
Another element Clare is following is looking at the actual dyeing process and its ecological effects. To this end she has been experimenting with a reduced number of dyes. The combining of threads during weaving produces different colours thus eliminating the need for potentially harmful and unnecessary dyes.
Sarah’s first foray into textile work was foundation piecing a patchwork of hexagons from scraps of 1970s fabrics of her mother’s. In fact it was her mother who then backed this piece after it had been ‘finished’.
Sarah then told us of her work as a political journalist reporting on Parliament, this work meant her leisure time was in the morning. Determined to make the best of her free time Sarah returned to her teenage interest in patchwork and eventually quilting.
Over time her art and techniques developed and Sarah now combines both interests creating quilts with writing as an integral part. The art of making the quilt and the words almost philosophical; links to past quilters, a circular quilt describing a feeling of going around in circles linking problems associated with old age and Alzheimer’s.
Beautiful looking quilts with thought provoking text, thank you Sarah.